As he settles into Houston, RCMP Corporal Aaron Geary is excited about what Houston has to offer him and his young family.
“We were attracted to the size of the community and what the community had to offer,” said Geary, adding that Houston has a nice blend of small town combined with lots of recreational activities for kids, such as swimming lessons, ice hockey and figure skating.
Geary says that he came to Houston on a latteral, transferring from the Dease Lake corporal position to a Houston one, he said.
Dease Lake was a small, tight community of about 450 people, so Houston felt big and busy to them at first, Geary said, adding that he did have a good first impression.
“It seems like a vibrant community – seems like people are involved and engaged and that’s important when you are raising a family,” Geary said.
“People probably find this funny but we actually find the shopping here is a lot better than we are used to in Dease Lake,” he said, adding that Houston’s Pharmasave is about the size of the Dease Lake grocery store – the only store in town – and the nearest shopping center was Whitehorse or Terrace, both about seven hours away.
Before joining the RCMP, Geary worked for five years in prisons as a correctional officer, mostly because it was a more available job than RCMP when he graduated from the criminology program at Simon Fraser University.
Geary says that working in prisons has helped him to have a broad perspective of the system, including where people end up after the RCMP has dealt with them.
It also gave him confidence when dealing with the tougher criminals, and it especially helped for his first post in Fort St. John in the early 2000s, when people from all over the country were trying to stake a fortune in the oil patch, said Geary.
Geary says that if he encountered tough guys who bragged about being in prison before, he would say, “so have I, just on the installment plan.”
Being in Houston, Geary and his family look forward to getting involved in the community, he said.
Geary says he enjoys hunting and fishing and hopes to get his kids involved in fishing as well.
He plays hockey, rides a motorbike and used to box – which is one thing he is happy to let go of in Houston because, he says, “it gets harder as you get older.
“I love to play with my kids and get involved in what they are doing,” said Geary, adding it he can see his kids getting involved in things like soccer and figure skating.
Geary has a four year commitment in Houston and says he can see himself extending the contract or even seeking promotion in Houston if the spot opens up.
“If we are happy here, and I don’t see why we wouldn’t be, I would look to extend,” he said.